Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 27, 2013

Spring Training Game 28: Reds 11, Cubs 1

Reds (10-18)00100010911150
Cubs (16-17)000000100181
W: Cueto (2-1) L: Samardzija (2-1)


As if in response to Amanda’s call to start practicing intensity, the Cincinnati Reds demolished the Chicago Cubs yesterday, winning 11-1.

Johnny Cueto made his final start of the spring, and looked like the ace of old. He tossed 6 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. Granted, it was the Cubs, but that’s still good to see this late in the spring.

The Reds took the first lead in the 3rd inning when Cueto had a two-out single. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Emmanuel Burriss doubled to center and Cueto scored. In the 7th inning, Todd Frazier added another run by hitting his 5th home run of the spring.

The Cubs made it a one-run game again by scoring in the bottom of the 7th, but the Reds broke it open in the 9th, unloading on the Cubs bullpen and scoring 9 runs in the inning. It was a prodigious display of offense that I hope we get to see often in the regular season.

The win is the Reds’ 10th of the spring, so they won’t be toiling in the single-digit wins wasteland any more.

And now there are just 5 spring training games left until Opening Day.

March 26, 2013

In brief: Isn’t it about time to start winning?

Last game
Ugly, ugly score yesterday. The Reds lost to the Mariners 16-0. Homer Bailey took the brunt of it, allowing 9 runs (8 earned) on 9 hits and 2 walks through 3.1 innings. Wilkin De La Rosa gave up the next 6 (5 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks through 1.1 innings. Compared to those two, the run apiece given up by Manny Parra and Kevin Whelan hardly seem worth mentioning. Justin Freeman and J.J. Hoover pitched scoreless innings.

Not much to say on the offensive side. Zack Cozart was the only one to manage two hits. Even Joey Votto went 0-for-4.

Johnny Cueto's first pitch of the 2012 season.

Johnny Cueto’s first pitch of the 2012 season.

Next game
Today the Reds go to visit the Cubs for a night game starting at 10:05 p.m. Johnny Cueto is taking the mound for his final start of spring training.

Not that I’m worried, but…
With all respect to the fact that spring training games are just a chance to try things out and work out the kinks, and acknowledging the fact that the Reds don’t have a lot of contentious roster spots for guys to be going all out to secure, it seems like maybe Cincinnati should be winning a little more. I mean, this is practice time for all the other teams, too, but they’ve still managed to beat the Reds 2/3 of the time.

I take a little comfort in the fact that I’m still seeing an awful lot of names I’ve never heard before in the box scores, which makes me think Dusty’s mostly fielding the AAA team to see who will come up when injuries happen. I’m also encouraged that today’s start by Cueto marks the last practice turn of the rotation: maybe this is when they start practicing the “intensity” part of the game.

I don’t care about the 9-18; I just don’t want March to have been a month’s worth of practice at losing.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
You can get on TV during a Reds post-game show to ask a question (to the hosts of Reds Live, I guess?) by going to the Holy Grail at the Banks before the games on these dates:

  • 4/1/2013 (Opening Day) 1p-3p
  • 4/19/2013 6p-7p
  • 5/10/2013 6p-7p
  • 5/24/2013 6p-7p
  • 6/14/2013 6p-7p
  • 7/3/2013 6p-7p
  • 7/19/2013 6p-7p
  • 8/2/2013 6p-7p
  • 8/23/2013 6p-7p
  • 9/6/2013 6p-7p
March 25, 2013

In brief: Arroyo OK after line-drive to the hand

Last Game
It was yet another loss for the Reds yesterday. They lost 2-4 while visiting the Rangers in Surprise, AZ. The game was televised on the MLB Network, so I got to watch a Reds lineup minus Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips while I put in my time on the treadmill. It was so meta.

Devin Mesoraco went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Miguel Olivo went 1-for-1 with an RBI and a run scored. That’s about all that’s worth mentioning from the offensive side.

From the defensive side, there’s more to say. Starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo took a line-drive to the pitching hand in the sixth inning. He left the game for x-rays, which were negative, and it sounds like today he’s already feeling fine. It must be the supplements.

Next Game
This afternoon the Reds host the Mariners at 4:05 p.m. Homer Bailey will be starting for the Reds.

Mark Berry offers congratulations to Scott Rolen after a game-tying home run.

Mark Berry congratulates Scott Rolen after a game-tying home run.

Get Well Soon, Berry
The Reds’ long-time third base coach, Mark Berry, has been diagnosed with cancer in his left tonsil and two lymph nodes on the left side of his neck.

He has caught it early and has a couple treatment options, which may or may not limit his ability to take the field.

Apparently his sister has a similar condition, so though the preliminary tests showed that there was no cancer, Berry pursued more aggressive testing and discovered it was more serious.

The organization is super supportive, and it sounds like Berry might have a very positive outcome. There’s a great write-up of the situation on I recommend you check it out.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
This weather sure doesn’t make it feel like it’s time for baseball. But there have been several snowed out games. In 2007, the Cleveland Indian’s opening day game was delayed by snow. There are a few videos on YouTube, even.

March 22, 2013

Reds chicken out and make Chapman the closer

Aroldis Chapman signed without saying a word.

Aroldis Chapman signing on Opening Night 2012.

The news we were expecting came today, and it’s what I’d feared, the Cincinnati Reds are not the forward-thinking organization that statistics-aware fans wish they were. Instead of seeing if they’re $30 million investment could become a great starter–what they initially scouted him for–the Reds bowed to the whims of manager Dusty Baker and made Aroldis Chapman the closer.

“We made a decision on our rotation. It’s Cueto, Latos, Bronson, Homer Bailey and Leake,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

I’m not that upset about this. Chapman is very good as the closer. And now there’ll be Jonathan Broxton to help when Chapman cannot pitch a second or third day in a row. I’m just a little disappointed. I really wanted to see what Chapman could do as a starter. I mean, the list of tall, flame-throwing left-handed starters isn’t long, kind of starting and ending with Randy Johnson. And Chapman could’ve added his name, but the Reds were apparently too scared to upset their manager and their player to find out.

But this isn’t bad news. At least, not for this season. The Reds already had an awesome rotation in Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, and Mike Leake. And the bullpen is a very stacked place. The 2013 season is looking very bright.

Still, it sure would’ve been nice for the team to find out what they had in Aroldis Chapman.

March 22, 2013

Sunday’s Reds game to be televised

Bronson Arroyo walked through last year's Opening Night red carpet and explained his carpal tunnel prevented him from signing.

Bronson Arroyo walked through and explained his carpal tunnel prevented him from signing.

I just got this press release in the inbox. It gave me such a moment of joy to think that I might be able to catch some of Sunday’s game on t.v. that I wanted to pass the information on.

Secaucus, N.J., March 22, 2013 – The Cincinnati Reds at Texas Rangers Spring Training game Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 PM ET will be available live on MLB Network in the Cincinnati television market. Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to pitch against Alexi Ogando of the Rangers.

MLB Network is available in Cincinnati on Cincinnati Bell, DirecTV, DISH Network, FAVE and Time Warner Cable, among other providers. Local channel listings are available here and MLB Network’s complete Spring Training game schedule is available here.

With the way the weather is acting, this might be our last chance to see a game where the guys aren’t all shivering until sometime in June.